Tag Archives: Afrikaner


1 Jan

eBook Eurasians Grassroots small(Cover Image)


(DOWNLOAD eBOOK FOR FREE by visiting the website with the link above)

ISBN: 9781310573545
Description: Eurasians at the Grassroots – Vol.1 is a collection of short stories regarding Eurasians and the memories of Eurasians. Its purpose is to collect and publish stories as a collective work about Eurasians, by Eurasians and for Eurasians. There are stories about Eurasians contributed from Malaysia, Singapore, as well as from Australia, The Netherlands and USA.
Word Count: 15,150 (approx.)

By Nutmeg Publishing
Co. No. SA0057587-D

**In Support of the Malaysian Dutch Descendents Project (MDDP) ‘The Eurasians at the Grassroots Projects’ under the leadership of Dennis De Witt.**


The Second Boer War: Afrikaners Strive for Freedom (A Historiographical Essay)

23 Oct


South Africa a land of natural and cultural beauty that is unique to the continent as a whole. Beauty can be deceiving as South Africa was once a place of misery and death. The Boer Wars were fought between the British, Afrikaners (Boers/Afrikaans), and Zulus for domination of South Africa. Ideology of freedom, imperialism, and expansionism was marred in blood in the name of the British Empire, Free United Afrikaner State, and a Zulu Homeland.

The main theme of the Second Boer War was Afrikaners struggle for freedom from British aggression. It placed the Afrikaner society and nation under psychological, economical, diplomatic, intellectual, political, and social stress. Military evolution in the Second Boer War took a turn from conventional to asymmetrical warfare. To understand the Second Boer War one has to look at the reasons behind the First Boer War that eventually led to another war. The influences of culture on the Boer Wars would have significant repercussion on South Africa national identity.

There were a number of books written on the Second Boer War but each of one tailored on a specific issue within the conflict but fewer on the First Boer War. The issue was to find legitimate sources which were kept in the National Archive in London. Other primary sources like journals, diaries, documents and newspapers were published and used by numerous authors. Basically the Second Boer War overshadowed the First Boer War and the immediate period between the two. The prelude to any major conflict is to understand the motivation for war.

Before one could indulge into the First Boer War one have to understand the motivation for the British to invade South Africa. The Anglo-Boer War: Why was it Fought? Who Was Responsible? edited by Theodore C. Caldwell contains multiple essays written by different authors. Theodore C. Caldwell main theme is to investigate the political, economical, and military reasoning behind the British invasion of South Africa. The book analyzes the potential South Africa would bring to the British Empire and solidify Britain’s possessions around the globe.

Caldwell’s book also analyzes the great African game played by England, France, and Germany to control the continent. The British fear was the lost of South Africa as potential colony would severely deteriorate Britain holding in Asia. Caldwell’s The Anglo-Boer War: Why was it Fought? Who Was Responsible? investigated the economical potential of South African minerals and resources would bring to the British Empire. The book has an excellent background story to elaborate on the key events that let to the outbreak of the Boer Wars. Most importantly the book explored the reasons behind British motivation after its defeat at the hands of the Afrikaners after the First Boer War. In turn the Afrikaans were determined to fight against the British in the Second Boer War due to Afrikaners victory in the First Boer War.

The First Boer War book written by Joseph Lehmann was an extensive historical account prior to, during, and after the war. Joseph Lehman thesis was to examine British aggression and the Afrikaners’ subsequent struggle for independence that changed the entire course of South African history. These two factors contributed directly to the outbreak of the Second Boer War and events that followed. Lehman’s study was to analyze the length, scope, and numbers of men involved in the first war which was generally ignored as a minor conflict.

Lehman’s book analyzes the economical value of South Africa as a land filled with untapped resources which led to the British occupation Afrikaans’ lands. The author elaborated on the Afrikaners journey from oppressive Europe to Africa in search of freedom. The First Boer War also discussed the Great Trek taken by the Boers into Zululand in order to escape British oppression. In turned the culture differences between the British and Boers began to take shape into a struggle of national identity.

The book comprehensively examines the British underestimation of the Afrikaner’s military potency. It also offered one of the best detailed descriptions on the Battle of Majuba Hill which sealed Afrikaners victory in the first war. Britain was conventionally superior but the Boers on the other hand very ingenious in battle tactics. Society was also Britain’s enemy because the lack of culture similarities led to distrust of the general populace on the British forces. Lehman analysis of the British failure was its lack of mobility, knowledge of the South Africa’s territory, lack of native population support, Zulus attack, overstretched garrisons, and arrogant leadership.

This book did a superb job in analyzing the First Boer War due to the fact that there were few books written on the war. Lehman’s bibliography with primary sources which contain memoirs, documents, journals, and diaries were very useful in accurately portraying the first war. The importance of this research was to point the main contributing factor to the Second Boer War was the First Boer War. The First Boer War contained the peace between the Boers and British but also set the stage for the Second Boer War. The analysis of the problems that arose after the First Boer War would eventually bring Britain and South Africa to war.

Ethnic identity was a contributing factor that ignited the Second Boer War. The term Afrikaner was a generative category given to identify groups of immigrants from Europe as a singular ethnicity. Afrikaners were primary Dutch and Northern German origin but also included Nordic, Irish, Flemish, Franken, and French immigrants who migrated prior to the Boer Wars. The Afrikaners language know as Afrikaans where primary a mixture of Dutch-German with some Nordic, Celt, Flemish, French and other European words. The Africans primary the Zulu was fighting both the British and Afrikaners for a territory of their own. The British was seen as outsiders and oppressors by both the Zulus and Afrikaans. The British under the notion of Anglo interest came to aid its settlers who were seen prosecuted by the Afrikaans.

The intermediate period between the two Boer Wars was a curial time in South African society which was filled with ethnic violence among British settlers, Boer farmers, and Zulu tribes. The used journals and diaries written by common individuals like Freda and Dr. Kay in Music of the Guns by John Henry May. The two journals in May’s book were of two different individuals from an opposite spectrum of a white society. Freda was a fourteen year old farm girl of Russian decent and Dr. Kay was a British physician living in a British settlement within Boer territory. The other book known as Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War edited by John Comaroff was about a black man’s third person perspective on the Second Boer War.

Music of the Guns by Henry John May was to analyzed the Second Boer War through the eyes of two different European individuals, gender, social and economical standing within South African society. The journals were written during the Second Boer War but the writers tend to reminisce on the problems prior to the second war. Freda first hand account on about her family’s survival on the outskirts of a city. Freda’s family was farmers and most general historian would categorize them as Boer sympathizers which were not true. The author wanted to show the reader in Freda words the emotions that plague her during the war. Dr. Kay’s journal in Music of the Guns was about his experience during the war. Dr. Kay mentioned extensively about the living conditions of a Boer’s siege and the emotions that was running high during and after the siege.

May’s book was an excellent work on commoners trying to survive the war. It showed the impact of war had on society from two different cultures and social background of a similar ethnicity. Music of the Guns also demonstrated the cruelty of the British in achieving total victory by the used of concentration camps to break the fighting spirit of the Boers. May did an excellent job in compiling the two journals together in order to paint an unbiased picture of a wartime society. May’s book may have done justice to one color of society but John Comaroff’s book will do justice to another color of society.

Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War was a diary written by Sol Plaatje a black man working as a map maker during the Second Boer War. The editor John Comaroff wanted to set history right by using Plaatje diary in retelling the story of the Siege of Mafeking through the eyes of a black man. The Black community in South Africa suffered an equal or worst fate than their Afrikaners counterpart during the two Boer Wars. Plaatje’s diary elaborated on life after the First Boer War in a British administrated territory which was claim with the signing of the peace treaty. The book analyzes that Blacks in South Africa wanted to be free along with their Boers counterpart but were stuck between two worlds that had no interest in Black freedom.

Sol Plaatje’s diary illustrated the community of Mafeking was a mix community of Blacks, Colored, and Boers but were under British administration. The Brits successful defended the siege by galvanizing the population to its side during the siege. It also discuss the British tactics in holding out against the Boers with limited resources and ammo until reinforce arrived. Plaatje’s diary explains a community united under the threat of destruction. The book did an excellent job in portraying a united community that existed during the Second Boer War and emphasizes that war was not black or white as seen by many. Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War demonstrated that the British had learned the lessons from the First Boer War and was ready to put an end to the second war.

South African politics were very chaotic due to the division of its lands between British occupied territories, the different Afrikaner fractions, and Zululand in between or around both warring forces. The Afrikaans President was Paul Kruger and he ruled South Africa for a couple of decades. To understand Afrikaners’ politics one should know Paul Kruger’s life because he shaped South Africa’s national identity. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger written by Paul Kruger himself was published in 1902 at the end of the war. The book was about his dedication in achieving a Free Afrikaner State. He portrayed himself as a common leader who was given the difficult task in defending a nation from an Empire.

The book analyzes Kruger’s political difficulty in forming an alliance between the various Afrikaners in order to from a united front. Kruger mentioned the political infighting for power sometimes delayed the Boer’s ineffectiveness to resist the British invasion. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger also extensively discussed the diplomatic challenges in obtaining weapons and support for the Boer’s military. Like Winston Churchill memoirs there were some biases within Kruger memoir because its human nature to talk about one’s greatness rather than one’s arrogance.

However Kruger’s book was excellent in portraying himself as a leader during both Boer Wars. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger also consist speeches made during Kruger’s presidency which reflected the psychological mindset of Afrikaans during wartime. The benefit of Paul Kruger memoirs was to give the inside scoop of Afrikaans’ politics, diplomacy, and military preparedness against a British onslaught. Kruger’s book was a great primary source but it should not be taken in entirety because there was no mention about any opposition to Kruger’s administration.

The Growth of Boer Opposition to Kruger 1890-1895 by C. T. Gordon who analyzes Kruger’s rival Commandant-General P. J. Joubert and the opposition party know as Progressive. C. T. Gordon’s main theme of this book’s investigation was an attempt to trace the emergence of an active opposition among the burghers of the South African Republic towards Kruger’s administration. Gordon analyzed the policies that drew criticism from the general population and the main grounds for the growth of opposition to the regime were.

Gordon analyzed the self-style Progressive party that emerged under the nominal leadership of P. J. Joubert. The book also examines the close election results of 1893 which resulted in Kruger’s victory but many opposition supporters believed that P. J. Joubert was the true victor. It also emphasized on the issues and debates that propelled the Progressive party into South African politics. The author did an excellent job in portraying the ideas, action, and political planning done by the Progressive party to challenge Kruger’s regime. The author mentioned that it all changed with the arrival of British forces which unified the South African political fragmentation. The Growth of Boer Opposition to Kruger 1890-1895 analyzed the possibility of South African politics to be left alone if the British did not invade. This book by Gordon paints a different picture on the political instability in South Africa prior to the Second Boer War. The fact remains that the British invaded Afrikaners’ land and this action resulted into a total war between the opposing forces.

In the Second Boer War the Boers were at a disadvantage in numbers and weapons because the British forces with lessons learn from the First Boer War were ready. The British decided to enforce prison camps for Prisoners of War (POW) and to avoid Boers to regroup once defeated. Letters from a Boer parsonage: Letters of Margret Marquard during the Boer War edited by Leo Marquard that elaborates the harsh life of a POW camp by examining Margret Marquard letters during the war. Margret Marquard letters were instrumental in analyzing the social dilemmas faced during war. Leo Marquard examine the emotional roller-coaster ride of Margret Marquard with her correspondences with her husband during combat and then eventual imprisonment.

The book also touches on battle tactics in which Margret’s husband wrote in his letters and later as a POW on the inefficiency of a British POW camp to accommodate prisoners. Letters from a Boer parsonage: Letters of Margret Marquard during the Boer War also elaborates on letters between Margret and her relatives during the conflict. Margret Marquard expressed in her letters on the impact of the Second Boer War on the lives of Boers similar to her class status. It paints the image of war from a social and psychological perspective. The letters by Margret Marquard elaborated the harsh reality and trauma of war could do love to ones behind the front-lines.

Furthermore the harsh reality of war may impact on the lives on people trap in conflict zones or behind a front-line but none who be heavily affected by than those that fought in it. The British in the Second Boer War were conventionally superior and wipe out all that the Boers could muster on the battlefield. It was the one thing the British did not have and it was the support of the population. The Afrikaners changed tactics by dispersing into the bush and declared guerrilla warfare. Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War by Colonel Deneys Reitz and edited by Francis William Reitz. Francis William Reitz main theme was to examine the life of a guerrilla fighter through the eyes of his father, Colonel Reitz.

The book does not discuses extensively on the British and Boers tactics during the first half of Second Boer War. Francis William Reitz’s also wrote on life in South Africa and his relationship with his father prior to the Second Boer War at the beginning of the book. The journal also elaborated on the social background of soldiers similar to Colonel Reitz that fought during the war. Colonel Reitz’s journal elaborated on an individual prerogative when the Boers decided to conduct commando operations against the British. The emphasis on life and survival was an important theme of the book when Boer commandos engaged the British forces in combat.

Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War portrayed an accurate account in Colonel Deneys Reitz words on the atrocities committed by both the British and Boers during the war. The books also mentioned about British adaptability to counter Boers’ commando operations and the depletion of supplies that would eventually forced Afrikaans ultimate surrender. This book edited Francis William Rietz was great in understanding the psychological, social, and emotional struggle faced by the Boer commandos during the war.

British successes against the Boer commandos were its ability to cut the Boers support foundation. Introduction of concentration camps within Boer population centers was the key of British victory. The concentration camps in South Africa shaped the war but it reshaped the psyche of South Africa as a nation. The Anglo-Boer Wars by Michael Barthorp main theme was to examine the adaptability of British military tactics in South Africa. Michael Barthrop investigates British failure in the First Boer War and elaborates on the Britain’s ability to learn and overcome in the Second Boer War. The book investigated that failure in the First Boer War was the failure to pacify the civilian population who were aiding the Afrikaners military.

Barthorp’s book analyzes a wide range of tactical change within the British military before the start and during the Second Boer War. The book also mentioned to the development of concentration camps solely for the Afrikaners women and children. It was to break the will of the Boer Commandos and keep the populace from offering aid to the enemy. The effectiveness of the camps played a role in contributing to the surrender of the Boers but it caused the deaths of thousands of civilian. The advancement in tactics that the British brought was a horse riflemen from Australia to counter Boer raids and the installment of fortified gun boxes to entrap enemy forces. The Anglo-Boer Wars contains numerous resources materials that painted a deeper picture on the British methodical strategy in winning the Second Boer War.

There was international involvement in the Second Boer War. The British Empire poured troops from all over the Commonwealth to fight against the Boers but also the Zulus. The Boer War: Direction, Experience, and Image edited by John Gooch written by multiple authors that investigates the war from different perspectives. The essays in the book analyze the war from the political, war journalists, foreign nationals, and even photographers perspectives. The book’s theme was to examine the implication of the Second Boer from a Commonwealth perspective but excluding the English and Boers viewpoints. The book investigates the Irish support for the Boers and the implication of the Irish action. It also mentioned about the Zulus which was very helpful in painting the third player in the Boer War. The social and political implication of the Second Boer had on Commonwealth nations were explored extensively.

The book also analyzes the implication of Australian and Scottish troops involving in the Second Boer War. Those two nation’s military had a different way of engaging the Boers which were very successful. The Boer War: Direction, Experience, and Image was a great book because it expands the Second Boer War as an international conflict that involved many nations within the Commonwealth. It could be considered as a joined Commonwealth military operation in suppressing the Boers resistance.

Basically, Gooch’s book contains a lot of primary and secondary sources from various authors which will be useful in further researching the different nations involve in the conflict. This book also explained the Boers defeat briefly. Why the Boers Lost the War written by Leopold Scholtz explained the defeat in detail that the Boers were outnumbered in manpower and resources. The main theme of this was to investigate comprehensively on the reasons behind the defeat of the Boers in the Second Boer War. Scholtz book was heavy influence by Richard Overy’s Why the Allies Won.
The book analyzes the Boers failure to conceptualize the problems in taking on an Empire. Scholtz basically claimed that the Boers were doom from the start of the Second Boer War. The author begins the book by stating the strategic importance of the Boers Republic to the British Empire. British tactics in the first part of the war was horrible and gave the Boers victory after victory. The book analyzes British resolve by employing new tactics by using flanking maneuvers and pacifying enemy population centers.

Scholtz emphasizes on the logistical ability of the British to used trains and built railway tracks to speed up its forces mobility. The British also dominated the ocean around Africa’s Southern peninsula. The author also elaborates on the tactical changed from conventional to asymmetrical by the Boers during the war which were effective briefly. The reason was the British adopted the box system and through thousands of Boers family into concentration camps. Scholtz’s argues that the British had abundant supply of fresh troops pouring from the Commonwealth and the Boers lost their support base.

Why the Boers Lost the War is an excellent book on the reasons behind the Boers surrender and the importance of using an overwhelming force in quelling a rebellious populace. The research will not base solely on the military aspect of the Second Boer War but a combination of events occurring in South Africa during the war. It is important to note that the numerous authors discuss in this essay had their own unique and insightful notion about the Boer War. As a whole the focus of this research will be using those great ideas to draw a hypothesis on the reasons behind the Second Boer War.

The Second Boer War: Afrikaners Strive for Freedom is an intriguing topic because there are not many books out in the market that concisely analyzes the issue from its infancy till its aftermath. This research will cover the historical background that motivated the British to invade South Africa twice and to examine the impact of war on society. In order to completely a successful research one must look at the political, social, economical, intellectual, and diplomacy prior, during, and after the Second Boer War. The importance of military development from a conventional to unconventional force during this war would change the norm of future military engagement.

Finally, it takes one to press hard questions to get the right answers. South Africa national identity was significantly influenced by the Boer Wars with a firm emphasis on the Second Boer War. The sun may never set on the British Empire but South Africa Republic will never stop bleeding.


Primary Published Sources

Baschet, E. 1900 l’Afrique découvre l’Europe. Paris: E. Baschet, 1978

Comaroff, John, ed. Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary: a Black Man’s View of a White Man’s War. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1990.

Curtis, Lionel. With Milner in South Africa. Oxford: Blackwell, 1951.

Headlam, Cecil, ed. Alfred Milner: The Milner Papers, South Africa 1899-1905. Vol. I. London: Cassell, 1933.

Headlam, Cecil, ed. Alfred Milner: The Milner Papers, South Africa 1899-1905. Vol. II. London: Cassell, 1933.

Marquard, Leo, ed. Letters from a Boer Parsonage: Letters of Margret Marquard during the Boer War. Johannesburg: Purnell, 1967.

May, Henry John. Music of the Guns. Johannesburg: Hutchinson of South Africa, 1970.

Kruger, Paul. The Memoirs of Paul Kruger. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969.

Reitz, Deneys. Commando: a Boer Journal of the Boer war. London: Faber & Faber, 1931.

Stallman, R. W, and Hagemann, E. R, ed. The War Dispatched of Stephen Crane. New York: New York University Press, 1964.

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Caldwell, Theodore C, ed. The Anglo-Boer War: Why was it fought? Who was responsible? Boston: D. C. Heath, 1965.

Crawford, John, and McGibbon, Ian, ed. One flag, One queen, One tongue: New Zealand, the British Empire, and the South African War, 1899-1902. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2003.

Cloete, Stuart. African Portraits; A Biography of Paul Kruger, Cecil Rhodes, and Lobengula, last King of the Matabele. London: Collins, 1946.

Cuthbertson, Greg, Grundlingh, Albert, and Suttie, Mary-Lynn. ed. Writing a Wider War: Rethinking Gender, Race, and Identity in the South African War, 1899-1902. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2002.

Dunstall, Graeme. Crime and Empire, 1840-1940: Criminal Justice in Local and Global Context. Devon: Willan Publishing, 2005.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Great Boer War. London: Smith & Elder, 1900.

Farwell, Byron. The Great Anglo-Boer War. New York: Harper & Row 1976.

Field, L. M. The Forgotten War: Australian Involvement in the South African Conflict of 1899-1902. Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 1979.

Ferguson, John Henry. American Diplomacy and the Boer War. London: Oxford University Press, 1939.

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Gordon, C. T. The Growth of Boer Opposition to Kruger, 1890-1895. Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Gordon, April A, and Gordon, Donald L, ed. Understanding Contemporary Africa. 3rd edition. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2001.

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Hillegas, Howard C. Oom Paul’s people; a narrative of the British-Boer troubles in South Africa, with a history of the Boers, the country, and its institutions. New York: Negro University Press, 1969.

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Judd, Denis, and Surridge, Keith. The Boer War. London: John Murray, 2003.

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Case Study: South Africa

17 Oct

Written By Simon S. Sundaraj-Keun

References & Review
Book: Politics in the Developing World by Peter Burnell & Vicky Randall.
Part V: Case Studies: Chapter 16b: Fragmentation or nation-building? South Africa by Robert A. Schrire.
Reference: The Other World: Issues and Politics of the Developing World 6th Edition, by Joseph Weatherby. Part II: Other World Region: Chapter 6: Sub-Saharan Africa: Case Study: South Africa.

The Politics in the Developing World book edited, by Peter Burnell and Vicky Randall examine the problems of political development around the globe. This book was divided into multiple sections that comprises on multiple theories, issues, ideologies, and case studies that influence the politics in the developing world. The book also offers coverage of both empirical and theoretical issues. There are numerous articles and case studies contributed by a broad panel leading experts of their respective academic fields.

Part V: Case Studies: Chapter 16b: Fragmentation or nation-building? South Africa by Robert A. Schrire requires a closer observation in this study in order to focus in on the issues in the developing world and to place South Africa in context. One of the main theses of this book is to deal with central political themes and issues in the developing world, such as globalization, inequality, economy, culture, identity, religion, the military, democracy, the environment, and policy development. South Africa is a prefect case study that incorporates the issues that the thesis of this book talks about in order to provide a concise and analytical framework.

To most individuals South Africa is a nation with abundance natural beauty and resources seem fated to fail due to its turbulence past and geographic location. South Africa is a nation that seems to be on the brick of fragmenting when the walls of apartheid were brought to an end in 1994. Most analysts predicted civil unrest and territorial disintegration within a decade. The interesting fact about South Africa it still is a nation. Even as analysts predicted the collapse of the South Africa Union it did not materialize but there are avenues within the nations political, social, judicial, economical, and governmental infrastructures that requires an enormous amount of improvement.

In understanding the current predicament of South Africa is to first understand its violent past. Firstly, the focus South Africa’s past is to comprehend the relationship of South African society and state which has an influence on the wider context of South Africa economic and political processes. Secondly, to solve South African problems one has to explore themes and raised issues in order to answer the ongoing debate in the manner in which development would bring to this nation and other developing countries around the globe.

Robert A. Schrire article in Chapter 16b titled as Fragmentation or nation-building? South Africa in Part V: Case Studies of the Politics in the Developing World book explore the historical contribution in its nation’s political future. The author started out with a brief look at South Africa formation as a nation-state and political development through its history. South Africa’s political development was in the hands of the white minority and the legacy of apartheid that became a rift in the development of its national identity. The white oppression in turn created a powerful black response which promoted the possibility of relatively peaceful deracialization.
The historical legacy of apartheid in South Africa began with the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910 after the Second Boer War in which the British defeated the Afrikaans. English and Afrikaans speaking whites contested fiercely for power and control over South Africa’s political future. This political rivalry led up to a decisive victory of Afrikaner nationalism in 1948. The English, as a demographic minority, tended to maintain the politics of whites while many Afrikaner supported the politics of exclusive Afrikaner nationalism.

After 1948, the National Party (NP) representing Afrikaner nationalism was able to merge its political supremacy, as white unity took primacy in response to mounting pressures, from both the outside world and black South Africans, accelerating after the establishment of a republic in 1961. The problem that arose but never determined was an acceptable political structure that did not jeopardize the Afrikaner’s grip on authority. This led to the meeting of political aspirations of the black African majority as a difficult problem.

The Afrikaner led government response to the ever-growing demands of the majority for the share of power was the introduction of the policy of grand apartheid. Apartheid was introduced prior to the Land Act of 1913 which allocated fertile and resource rich lands into the hands of Afrikaners. Over the decades new policies begun to take shape in order to separate the blacks population from whites’ lands. The result of the grand apartheid policy was the creation of ten black African nations, each entitled to sovereign independence. Every black African, irrespective of culture, origin, residence, or individual preferences, was unspecified to be an unchallengeable member of one of these tribal communities.

This policy of grand apartheid and its predecessors were fought fiercely by the African National Congress (ANC) which was formed in 1911. African National Congress failed in preventing the Land Act of 1913 but the struggle continues for equality against the National Party for the future of South Africa. Other leaders who envision a democratic and united South Africa came to the lime light in the 1960s. Those individuals were KwaZulu’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi who rejects the division of South Africa and Nelson Mandela who led the ANC non-violent struggle and later an armed resistance against the white government of South Africa.

There are other ethnic groups like the Indians, colored, and whites within South Africa’s society who oppose the racism of the National Party led government. These ethnic groups formed political parties like the South African Communist Party (SACP) who formed an alliance with the ANC and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) who split from the ANC began to oppose the National Party fiercely. The white government of South Africa viewed these political groups as a threat to its political power and decided to ban all opposition parties. The move caused an underground armed movement that endorses violence against the apartheid government of South Africa. Mandela and other leaders were imprisoned or exiled when their insurrection were smashed by the government.

Peace returned to South Africa for a decade but the illusion was shattered in 1976 by another massacre, at Soweto, sparked in part by educational grievances. The government had to react by declaring a state of emergency but it was not effective. So the National Party switched to state-sponsored violence in order to quell dissidents and protestors. In 1983 new constitutional proposal by the government unexpectedly brought intense politicization and anger, which led the National Party to embark on modest reform initiatives for urban Africans, colored, and Indians. This move was resented by the wider black population which in turn opened up political space for public debate and greater participation.

The formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983 was to oppose the new constitutional proposals by the National Party government. It was a significant development because it brought together a wider range of civil society groups into the political arena, supported by the ANC in exile. The UDF membership was represented by all segments of the population: whites, blacks, colored, Indians, rural and urban, middle class and poor. UDF was an important success in non-racial political cooperation. The new constitutional proposal of 1983 failed to gain legitimacy despite obtaining the support of whites-only referendum.

Furthermore, the National Party government was facing major economic decline, white divisions, sanctions, and other global pressures which has crippled development and prosperity, increasing both unemployment and tax burden particularly on the white population. There were three pivotal factors that prompted negotiations that would eventually transfer power from the rule of minority to the hands of the majority. The first factor was the government failure to restore normalcy in South African society after unrest in the early 1980s. The second was the leaderships of both black and white parties who not moderate their stance if the status quo continues at its present state. This uncertainty within party leadership forced the ANC and the National Party to begin the negotiation process. Lastly and perhaps paradoxically, the negotiations once initiated did not take the form of whites versus blacks.

The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) begun a formal discussion in 1991 and was accelerated with De Klerk victory from a white-only election in 1992. Problems arose with the alienation of conservative Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and its leader Buthelezi, who threatened violence and boycott of elections, was not easily defused. In 1994 a wide agreement was reached around an interim constitution to prevent any advantages were given to any groups in the first openly contested election in South African history. The final constitution was in placed in 1996. In 1999 election was thus the first election held in terms of constitution and the results followed closely those of 1994 with no changes to the constitution of 1996.

The new order from apartheid to the rainbow nation took shape with the emergence of a non-racial and democratic South Africa without any major incident or violence. South Africa’s miracle was not the success of negotiation but the transformation and transition of the political discourse away from race and ethnicity. The call from Zulus and whites for special rights was pushed aside for normal democracy. In order to create national unity among the different groups with South Africa an institutional framework was created to reflect the principle of inclusiveness. The creation of a quasi-federal system, proportional representation, formal and informal power-sharing, all designed to ensure significant space and legitimacy for cultural and political minorities within South Africa.

However in order for the new framework to be successful an entity free of government or political organization was needed to heal the wounds of apartheid. The African National Congress led by Nelson Mandela along with its unity government established of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1995 headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu was surprising successful in building a bridge of reconciliation within South African society. The work done by the TRC and UDC contributed to the decline of black versus white conflict during the transition to non-racial democracy. Political transformation and nation-building took precedence after the TRC run their investigation on previous racial crimes from all sectors of South African society. Cooperation between whites and blacks were needed in order to rebuild the South African economy due to the fact that whites control the wealth and blacks dominate the human capital of the nation.

Race and inequality is part of the history of South Africa state, the political arithmetic of race and ethnicity, and the structure of South Africa’s political economy, all help explain why there is neither a public demand for separate nationalities nor a set of elite driven political strategies based upon ethnic/race mobilizations. Historically, race and classes have coincided in South Africa, dividing it into two nations. The emergence today of rapidly expanding black middle class undermines this conception and is disconnecting race and inequality.

After all strategies to address historical inequalities have the potential to frustrate both blacks and whites and could ultimately threaten nation-building and political stability. A powerful ANC is a force for reconciliation and nationhood yet this very power constitutes a potential threat to a genuine democratic order should its power be threatened. This is where individual leadership has played a significant role in shaping the conception of non-racial, a national identity, and a democratic South Africa for the future. Nelson Mandela was a key example in leading South Africa as its president after the 1994 election but step down in 1999 to hand the presidency to Mbeki.

The process of nation-building is ongoing due to the problems faced by South Africa. The AIDS crisis which plagues millions in South Africa alone will have a significant impact on its political and economic infrastructures in years to come. The alienation of Zulus which class with ANC supporters has caused some political instability but was diffuse by Nelson Mandela intervention. The problem of poverty if not address along with the promise of land reforms for poor black farmers with be a momentous task for President Mbeki to keep his election promises.

The question of crime in its nation is ever rising due to the fact of its historical actions by the ANC and NP to ignore the law in taking matters into their own hands. Each opposing side during the apartheid era promoted disobedience to the law and reacted on their own form of justice which led to thousands of people killed or missing over the decades. Lastly, the question and debate would be to define the meaning of being a citizen of South African regardless of color. Whatever the future may hold for South Africa the problems of today needed to address in order to prevent a disaster in the years to come.

Furthermore, this article written by Robert A. Schrire elaborates the implications of two opposing cultures who were also historical enemies was able to come together in order build South Africa’s democracy. The importance of distinction between class and nationality conflicts with regards to nation-building in South Africa was the deciding factor that propelled reconciliations among its population. One has to understand that the Afrikaners who originally settled in the Cape in 1652 by their leader Jan Van Rieback were cultivators, pioneers, and colonists who came from Holland and were looking a place to call home.

The arrival and occupation of the Cape by British forces in 1795 created Afrikaner’s nationalism. In 1836 the Great Trek by Afrikaners into the interior begins and so did the expulsions of black Africans along the way. As the Boer Wars and Zulu Wars were fought the sense of nationhood drove the Afrikaners to establish themselves a dominant force in South Africa. As the decades role by Afrikaners realization of their political and economical future was in jeopardy and had to reform in order to survive. If one looks at the Afrikaners historical and cultural pattern of interaction clearly demonstrate that each of their action were similar to those of a survivalist.

The end came in sight for the National Party from the external and the domestic front. External pressures from the United States of America begin to shift gears as the Cold War came to a close and South Africa’s neighbors was stabilizing its political infrastructure after years of civil unrest. The Commonwealth and United Nations threaten further harsher sanction if the government of South Africa does not reform. Domestic unrest also contributed to the change of heart within the ranks of the National Party. In relative terms the survival of South Africa as a nation-state rested solely on the National Party to end its apartheid policy and begin to politically reform.

South Africa’s unity government led by Nelson Mandela to established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in order to reconcile with its apartheid past. The only disappointment that the commission could not accomplish was to pass judgment on those who committed the crime during the apartheid era. Even if the crime was not able to be prosecuted it does offer some closure to the families of victims who lost love ones during the apartheid era. The people of South Africa offer the rest of the world a lesson in humility and forgiveness of ones enemy by treating every human being equal and just. It also demonstrate the determination, courage, and optimism of South Africans to work together in order to build a better future.

However the argument in this case study portrayed an accurate analysis on South Africa. The only way for South Africa to moved forward is to put their past behind and move on. The evidence of South Africa success is in its reconciliation between whites and blacks due to the smart thinking of Nelson Mandela who knew the only South Africa to survive as a country is to put its past behind. The other ongoing process by the current South African government is to rebuild the public trust in the juridical system in order to decrease crime. Also to implement a strong police force that is corruption free and will serve as a bridge in building trust between the government and the public. It would in turn promote foreign economic investments and create opportunity for all South Africans to develop its nation’s economy into a regional power.

I agree with Robert A. Schrire analysis on South Africa that the HIV question will be a problem to South Africans in the future. If this problem is not address it will spawn into a crisis unparallel to any in history. There is an effort by developed nations to aid South Africans especially the poor by licensing of generic drugs at an affordable price. In order for South Africa to survive in the global market it has to create a strong and healthy work force. Even if it improves its education system the HIV disease left uncheck would decimate the next generation of workers which in turn would destroy its economic and social infrastructures.

This case study on South Africa paints a pristine image on countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Suriname, Guyana, and many others. The reason I mention those nations was due to their similarities as being multi racial and religious nations plus the fact was they have been colonized by a European power. The lesson South Africa offer to those nations is the idea of unity by reconciliation with the past by building a national identity for the future.

Overall, South Africa is a multi racial and religious nation that is surviving against all odds in rebuilding its divided society and economic infrastructure from the bottom up. The development and stability of South Africa would propel it to become a regional power and a platform for democracy on the African continent. Its success would be a beacon of democracy and optimism on a continent of turmoil but its failure would be viewed as another victim of Western ideology on a hopeless continent.


18 Sep

Madam Elenor Annie Keun is the daughter of Maurice Maximilian Keun (Afrikaner parentage). She is an Afrikaner-Mixed ancestry who represents her community in Georgetown, Penang in the Little Penang Street Market at Upper Penang Road across the Eastern & Oriental Hotel known as the Garage since 2006. She specializes in European and Asiatic Food, Pastries, and Beverages which she learn since the age of 9 from Elfrida Joseph-Massang (her grandmother of German-Sumatran ancestry) and Beatrice Theresa D’Almeida (her mother of Scottish-French ancestry).

Elenor has participated in the UNESCO World Heritage City for Georgetown Penang since 2007 at the month-long celebrations. She has taken part in the Straits Quay Flea Market and the newly inaugurated Eurasian Fiesta on July 1st 2012. The Eurasian Fiesta was the first of its kind to bring everyone with European and Mixed ancestry; along with folks who lived with, worked, or studied along side with the Eurasians to part take and keep the culture, heritage, and history alive for all to share, enjoy, and appreciate.

The food, pastries, and beverages which Elenor provide during her sales are Devil Curry, Nasi Lemak, Lemongrass Rice, Tomato Rice, Corn Beef Stew, Chicken Curry, Roast Beef, Grilled Lamb, Baked Salmon, Chicken Pie, Shepard’s Pie, Beef Puff, Sugee Cake, Cheese Cake, Pineapple Puff, Chicken Curry Puff, Lemonade, Pineapple Juice, and many more.

The Devil Curry known as Devilled Curry to others is a recipe derived from the Austro-Hungarian recipe name as Goulash. The Goulash is known to be hot and spicy stew which overtime in Asia turn into a devilish curry filled with chilies, peppers, and spices that burns one’s senses to dust!  The numerous recipes are a fusion of East and West which brings the best of both worlds for all to enjoy. The curries are a blend of Indian, Indochina, and the Indonesian archipelago traditional recipes with a strong central and southern (Balkans) European foundation. The stir fried food is a blend of Chinese and Japanese recipes with the variety of vegetables from around the globe.

 Elenor overtime has used her traditional base and fuse with other recipes to create new recipes or update or a new take on old ones. Her ideas come from her time and experience in traveling to different places around the globe brings new ideas and demonstrate that food can be improved and fuse for the betterment of one’s health and inspires new concepts via creative instinct. Plus these demonstrate to Elenor’s Afrikaner roots in adaptability, survivability, and eagerness to learn new ideas.

After all, Elenor believe that food is an essential part of life and taking great care in its preparation will bring great happiness, health, and wealth for a lifetime and especially to those around you. Elenor states ‘Recipes do not die or fade over time, it just evolve to its environment, culture, and ingredients availability which we should apply to everyday life by learning to be open in accepting new challenges in life in order to survive and prosper in our ever-changing world.’

 Elenor’s positive outlook brings a positive attitude and an excellent outcome in any undertaking she as a Food & Beverage Entrepreneur whether it is in the kitchen or in the real business world.

 If anyone is in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia do check and drop by Madam Elenor Annie Keun food stall and many others Small and Medium Business Entrepreneurs at Little Penang Street Market which is held every last Sunday of the month.

 Enjoy the wonderful offerings, food delicacies, and hospitality in what Penang can offer you.


Elenor Annie Keun_EF Certificate

Elenor Annie Keun Eurasian Fiesta 2012 Appreciation Certificate

Congratulations (even the name was misspelled) on receiving the Eurasian Fiesta 2012 Certificate of Appreciation for the involvement and support in UNESCO World Heritage City Georgetown Festival Celebration in Penang, MALAYSIA.


Home’z Eurasian & Western Cuisines

Eurasian Fiesta 2012: https://simonsundarajkeun.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/eurasian-fiesta-2012/

Penang Eurasians Feast: https://simonsundarajkeun.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/penang-eurasian-feast/


Sunday July 27, 2008, EURASIAN DELIGHTS, PENANG STAR NEWSPAPER, BY HELEN ONG http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/7/27/sundaymetro/1640019

Sunday May 3, 2009, BOOMING BUSINESS, PENANG STAR NEWSPAPER, By HELEN ONG http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2009/5/3/sundaymetro/3781241&sec=SundayMetro


Lina Jam Puffs, a popular home-made Penang Eurasian recipe, http://www.my-island-penang.com/Lina-Jam-Puffs.html

Lina Jam Puff Photos, Penang Jam Tarts and Puff with wetter ,http://www.my-island-penang.com/Lina-Jam-Puff-Photos.html

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